Pluto Relations in Synastry: Part 1 of 2

Pluto in SynastryAll of the outer planets misbehave in synastry. Even the best of contacts give us something to struggle with, though the positive shows itself more readily with the easier aspects. Any outer planet contact is at its worst when we’re taken by surprise. When we’re older and have risen up from the metaphorical ashes a few times, we learn what we’re up against. If we’re taken in our innocence, the experiences of the outer planets can be life-altering. They’re meant to be. It’s difficult enough if we have major outer planet contacts within our natal chart, but when the contacts come from outside, via synastry, they can shock, stun and paralyze us, because we never see them coming. The experience comes to us via another, because we are blind to that dynamic within ourselves.

Pluto has a dangerous reputation in synastry. He’s the guy in the room who causes everyone to back away a little. It’s well-deserved. With Pluto comes jealousy, obsession, compulsion, fearsome desire, terror, rage—a fight to the death, to the last gasp. In its more self-destructive phase, it can be a wish for death. With Pluto can come the experience, and hopefully an understanding, of the deepest, darkest desires of human nature: the impulse to destroy, to break taboos, to experience the forbidden. But Pluto is also about the impulse to cleanse, the impulse to heal. Pluto strips away the crust, the rot, the poison that is preventing us from experiencing our own spiritual wholeness. He doesn’t ask our permission or compliance. Pluto will get what it wants, by any means necessary—we only go along for the ride. When Pluto contacts another’s planet, it is to discover these dynamics within itself.

The Martian side of Pluto, in his role as the higher octave of Mars, is the one most visible in synastry. Pluto, in relationship mode, sets out to satisfy desire. No matter the planet it contacts, Pluto desires to be reborn through a deep psycho-sexual exchange with another human being. Pluto can go after whatever it needs to this end with a frightening intensity. There is a vast difference, though, between the way Mars and Pluto operate. Mars simply satisfies desire. In comparison to Pluto, Mars is rather mindless—it sees something it wants and it goes for it. On the other hand, Pluto has an agenda, a purpose, which is ultimately soul-oriented. Pluto wants to test our limits, to strip us down to the essence. Mars is direct. Pluto is not. There is an attraction/repulsion dynamic to Pluto that is interesting to observe, particularly in synastry. Pluto is torn between the known and the unknown; it senses that the unknown offers a kind of death, and is not fool enough to embrace it wholeheartedly, even though it knows that particular death is necessary. Pluto will do this ‘dance of death’ until desire inevitably wins out (it is Martian, after all). Then Pluto will hang on until its mission is accomplished, no matter the suffering. Life may be divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’ this Pluto contact. We are still ourselves, but we are not the same.

Transformation is Pluto’s ultimate goal. Whatever the aspects, Pluto strips away the ineffective coping mechanisms and false confidences of any planet it touches. Pluto will explore that planet’s depths and seek out what isn’t working. Pluto doesn’t involve the willing seduction and surrender that Neptune implies. With Pluto, the attraction is hypnotic, and very often feels unavoidable. The old Self, with all of its imperfect coping mechanisms, struggles to stay alive. Usually, the old Self loses. (Or it runs away, living to fight Pluto another day.) Relationships with heavy Pluto contacts have a Nietzschean tinge: that which does not kill me makes me stronger.

It would be nice if we could say that all these Pluto contacts were for the best, but that would be like putting a Good Housekeeping seal of approval on an earthquake. It’s good to rebuild, but the method or means or timing can be in question, and it doesn’t always have to be from the ground up. Pluto has the task of stripping away any psychological dross that no longer works for us, or affirms what has been shakily established. But Pluto, too, has to learn its limits. The best of Pluto goes forward with awareness. The worst of Pluto doesn’t know the difference between pruning dead branches and uprooting the entire tree. He can be a healer, allowing new growth, or he can be a thug, leaving us lying battered in the street.

Read Part 2: Pluto and the Inner Planets

This post has been republished by permission of the author and appeared in its original form at The Inner Wheel.

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About Dawn Bodrogi

Dawn Bodrogi has studied astrology since the age of twelve, and has been a practicing astrologer for over twenty years with a special emphasis on synastry. Her studies in Jungian psychology, alchemy, and Buddhist philosophy inform her work. Her upcoming book, The Inner Wheel, takes a new look at interpreting secondary progressions. You can see more of Dawn’s work at her blog, The Inner Wheel: Living with Astrology.


  1. This re: Pluto’s destructive means of tearing down what no longer works or has been incorrectly implemented is absolutely true.
    I do have Pluto prominent in my own chart.(in my 7th Hse in Leo)
    But transitting Pluto was also touching my chart a little over 2 yrs ago when a fire freakishly tore through my entire house destroying more than half of it.
    For me, with Moon in Taurus, to lose my home was true devastation.I’d had terrible assaults in my life including sexual ones;Id had losses and the usual plus not so usual heartbreaks.
    The loss of my home was worse.
    Several times it was suggested to me that perhaps in the end, this would free me from an abusive unhealthy family member and a physically unhealthy environment to boot.

    However with nowhere to live for more than a year—I could not agree that maybe this tragedy was the beginning of “freedom” for me!

    Now, 2 years and 2 months later, I can honestly say it *has* freed me.
    I live in a much smaller city -nothing like the international major city that had been the only home I knew.
    But the peace and quiet, plus the healing I’ve done without the abuse, toxicity and madness of my former life—is incredible.

    I don’t wish it on anyone and I’m not grateful for the disaster.
    I’m grateful I’m free, now.

  2. Well…this is fun>.>

    My ascendant conjuncts my bf’s Pluto>.>What does it mean?

    Oh,and my Pluto squares his ascendant…weird>.>

    Yeah,and my Venus squares his Pluto

    Also,my Uranus sextiles his Pluto…the same with my Neptune>.>

    Oh,oh and my Pluto conjuncts his Pluto>.>

    we have alot of great,even amazing and positive aspects too but those Pluto aspects worry me

  3. Pluto in the 8th house

    This is likely to be the death of me. lol No wonder why I keep getting into these instant type relationships where people show their “dark” sides early. I often feel like if I choose to stay in the relationship then I’m condoning the bad thing that I sense that the person will do to me. Hence, I bail. lol I can’t help it. As soon as I see that which is really really dark n deep in a person that I’m with…I bail. So sad, because I draw out the bad in people around me. I really do. People feel comfortable acting out at their worse or saying the most horrid things around me. I mean, I don’t mind or care. lol It’s actually quite fun, but that’s the part that makes it bad. When people decide to “be good” they stay away from me. lol ha ha ha The baffling thing about it is that I’m not the one necessarily acting up. I just have this way of getting people to confess or blurt out the thoughts that they feel really really bad about or have done.

    I have had people confess to sexual perversions, thoughts about killing people…like actually planning to right out murder people, thoughts about how dumb they think their best friend really is, or about how they cheated on their spouse or are cheating on their spouse….they just blurt shit out. Sometimes I’m afraid to be alone 1:1 with people that I know cuz I never know what they’re going to tell me. lol Maybe this is why I prefer group setting activities. Who knows. Oh well….let me go back to living life rather than thinking about it. lol

  4. @ Ms.Teeq1974

    That is too funny. Pluto is in my 11th house. When I read the description for that (aversion to interest groups and if I’m a part of it, bored with the sideline activity) it was so true. I can’t stand sororities and group thought like that.

    However, the groups I’ve been a part of (park cleanups and PP) have changed me in some small way.

    I really enjoyed the article. I love the style of writing.

  5. AMAZING article. BEAUTIFULLY written. I am simply captivated.

  6. sailor.mercury says:

    My, my, my. Pluto seems absolutely evil 🙂 1st of all, whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, has nothing to do with Nazis. The word fucking sickens me, and I wish people would stop eating it up like it was fucking candy. No one told anyone to believe the propaganda and kill themselves, like Hitler did. 2nd to imply that a planet is evil goes against everything that the zodiac stands for. Everyone encounters both good and evil in their lives, regardless of ‘pluto’. We used to have a patch of the leader of the Nazi party blowing his disgusting brains out, that read ‘follow your leader’. Now, is that evil Pluto’s influence cause it makes people think uncomfortably outside the box? Wat it is, is a call to end racism, which I think we can all agree, is not evil. I use this as an example, since Nazis were brought up in this article. 3rd, psychosexual is one word 🙂 ty.
    PS. Pluto has always been a happy care bear influence in my life, but that’s me 😀

  7. All the outer planets misbehave in synastry, that is a big one for me. I am to a passionate astrologer and feel that the outer planets, particularly spiritually offer us great insight into our soul, our purpose beyond this bricks and mortar.

  8. My natal sun, Mercury, mars and Pluto fall into my 8th house in Scorpio and I dunno I always have upheveals in my life like I’m being taught a lesson? But then nothing ever completely goes to s**t for me it’s like I’m being saved at the last minute.. I get myself involved in bad sexual partners or I’m too aggressive for them and they leave. I also hate going out the house and only have a few people in my life that I trust. I’m so sensitive and compassionate but I end up in rages of anger and when I’ve lost it, it’s best to stay away from me. And I think sometimes I can be too nice and forgive too easily but I’m pisces moon and rising too, it’s hard being so watery ? Also I’ve been in a few perverted scenarios, I don’t know how to say it but men masturbate over me? Infront of me towards me without anything being instigated before hand. The first time was when I was 14, but it doesn’t bother me? Nothing sexually perverted bothers me and I’m not sure if this is a bad thing.. also people are intimidated by me without me saying anything I must give out a bad vibe? But for some reason people tell me their darkest secrets..

  9. My pluto is in my 1st conjunct my moon, people tell me all thier secrets and emotions. I think becuase I experance such intense emotions and been threw so much in life nothing really shocks me as far as human behavior goes.

  10. I am Pluto in the first house. I am always being told I have a dark shadow over me. I have been told I intimidate people, and have even been asked if I was a Scorpio, because of the way I thought. Lol! I laughed, no, not Scorpio, but I am Cancer, and I love Scorpios! I love the intensity. I am intense. I care deeply, love wholly, and nothing anyone does surprises me anymore. It may gross me out..(Virgo rising) but it won’t shock me. I have Lilith in Cancer as well natally, so I definitely know the dark. I do find it amusing though, how complete strangers feel compelled to tell me their life stories and secrets… I love digging to find out what makes people tick. Psychology, Astrology, anything to do with the darkness of a person. I also feel pain and sadness deeply myself and know pain and loss. I am constantly changing. My looks, thoughts etc.. I hardly tell anyone my secrets, but I’d love to know yours. I watch people. I sit back, feeling people out. If I trust you.. I will let you see more if ME.

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